A Catholic Monthly Magazine

30 July – World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

The International Labour Organisation estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour, and there are more human slaves today than ever before. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Close to 80% of trafficking is for sex, and 19% for labour exploitation.

If we thought that NZ was free of slavery, then we would be wrong. Currently a shop owner and his wife are serving jail sentences of 4 years and 6 months, and 2 years and 5 months respectively for “economic and social slavery”, owing their workers, whom they had paid less than $8 an hour, $260,000. Two of the workers were recruited directly from Bangladesh. The man convicted had told Immigration authorities that they would be working 40 hours a week and paid $17 per hour for their work. In fact, both worked long days, sometimes as much as 36 hours in one shift. The workers did not speak or read English, and their exploitation was investigated only after they asked for help at the mosque they attended.

If you think that a person may be a victim of exploitation or trafficking,

In New Zealand:

  • To report a case of migrant exploitation, contact the MBIE Service Centre: 0800 20 90 20
  • To report people trafficking, call the local police, or 105
    or, if it is an emergency, dial 111
  • To report an issue anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
    or by way of an online Crimestoppers form, www.crimestoppers-nz.org

In Australia:

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